Wild Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash

12 servings

3 c wild rice mix, rinsed and cooked according to directions with water, broth, or a combination [usually 3:1 liquid to rice and 30-45 minutes on low after an initial boil)

1 large butternut squash cubed (see helpful tips here) or 2 bags of frozen butternut squash (about 4 c), lightly sprayed with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted at 400’ for about 20 minutes

1 large onion, diced and sautéed in water until soft with garlic

3 cloves of garlic, minced, and sautéed in water with the diced onion

1.5 c dried cranberries soaked in warm water

1.5 c pecans, roughly chopped and toasted for 5-8 min at 350’

Italian parsley, chopped

Dressing

3 T red wine vinegar

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

1/4 c fresh orange juice (I used Simply OJ)

1 T fresh ginger

1/4 t Ceylon cinnamon

optional: lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

Add the onions, garlic, and cranberries to the cooked rice.  Gently fold in the roasted butternut squash.  Add the pecans, parsley, and dressing just before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  The dressing adds a bright flavor but the dish is fine without it.  If you prefer a more savory dish, omit the dressing and add rosemary or poultry seasoning.  A ginger dressing would also be delicious here, although it works very simply without a dressing.